Wis. hopes heating funds replace stoves, candles

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The state helps low-income Wisconsin residents with their heating bills, but some people have still resorted to heating their homes using stoves, candles and even a charcoal grill.

After one heating mishap led to 13 people being sickened by carbon monoxide this weekend, state officials are reminding poorer residents that assistance is available.

Wisconsin is enduring one of its coldest winters in decades. With forecasts calling for another arctic blast this week, the state Department of Administration is reminding low-income people who need help to contact the Wisconsin's Home Energy Assistance Program.

The program covers part of a household's heating bill, and the benefit doesn't have to be repaid.

So far this year, about 165,000 Wisconsin households have received average benefits of $300 apiece. The average payment last year was $219.

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